Unless you’ve been in a recent coma or you’ve been living in a cave far from civilization with no means whatsoever of communicating with other humans, you’ve heard about Malaysian Airlines flight 370.
I’m not going into any of the details here because we know precious few conclusive FACTS at this point. But if you’re one of maybe five people—I’m SPECULATING here—who have NOT heard about it, click here.
Every time a commercial airliner transporting human cargo goes missing, it IS a major story for the mainstream news media—ABC, NBC, and CBS—and they report the FACTS as best they’re able to while keeping a vigilant eye on proper perspective.
And proper perspective includes an objective level of empathy for those other humans whose stomachs are being ripped apart by anxiety over the fate of their friends and loved ones who were aboard the flight.
But then comes CNN, one of the big three of the 24-hour cable news cycle. The other two are Fox News and MSNBC.
Fox News is unambiguously, not to mention unapologetically, to the RIGHT. MSNBC is just as unambiguously and unapologetically to the LEFT. This is NOT an opinion; it’s a fact.
And while this country has an ample supply of seemingly natural born idiots, a preference for either of these cable news channels doesn’t automatically brand people as unmitigated morons.
On the other hand, if you believe that Fox’s Sean Hannity isn’t a blatantly pernicious liar, that Steve Doocy and Brian Kilmeade of Fox & Friends have a combined IQ greater than 90, that MSNBC’s Al Sharpton isn’t a monumental lying racist, or that MSNBC’s Ed Shultz isn’t an over-exaggerating “Yosemite Sam,” don’t act shocked if people roll their eyes at you.
No Matter! Aside from Fox’s Bill O’reilly criticizing CNN for its 24 by 7 wall-to-wall coverage of it, neither Fox nor MSNBC has gone overboard with pure speculation regarding this airline disaster. This has NOT been the case over at CNN, though.
Although, despite O’reilly’s criticism and in fairness to CNN, their ratings have gone right through the stratosphere since they began their coverage of flight 370. So, SOMEBODY’S watching CNN!
CNN touts itself as a “breaking news” outlet. And, from its beginnings through a couple of years ago, that’s precisely what it was. They were always first on the scene of breaking news and the first to report it. Their coverage was accurate, and it wasn’t over dramatized.
But beginning a few years ago, culminating in their disastrous coverage of the Boston Marathon bombings, the bottom fell out of their credibility, and it’s been speeding downhill ever since.
As well, I have always admired Don Lemon’s ability as an objective anchor at CNN. I still do, but he’s gone so far beyond the pale in speculation regarding this disaster that I hardly recognize him.
And while he’s not the ONLY CNN anchor raising speculation to an art form, he’s become the most egregious one when it comes to this air disaster.
Since it happened, day after day and night after night, a litany of CNN hosts has been interviewing the same panel of six or seven “experts,” ALL of whom have painstakingly reminded those hosts of the pitfalls surrounding pure speculation.
The only things that actually change are timing and order. The level of speculation has never varied.
And no matter how subtly the various hosts try to hide the fact, most of it has been GUESSING masquerading as news while hiding behind a mask of “it MAY have happened.”
Don Lemon has taken the process to a new level by posing questions from his listeners to those experts, and admittedly, a couple of the questions have been thoughtful.
As well, the “experts” to whom I keep referring are legitimate and highly qualified in their respective fields.
But no matter how thoughtful the questions or knowledgeable the experts, the preponderance of the matter has been mostly speculation; a fact of which the experts—ALL of them—have incessantly reminded Mr. Lemon.
But the reminders don’t seem to faze him at all. If he doesn’t like a particular response, he rephrases the question to other panel members until he hears something he likes.
I truly hope, for the sake of the passengers’ loved ones and friends, that the searchers find something factually conclusive soon. But seriously, Mr. Lemon should begin gathering facts FIRST, then theorize.
Groundless speculation is a hapless consequence of a seemingly endless string of “it-could’ve-happened” speculations colliding headlong with that ever-nasty and persistent circumstance of “NO EVIDENCE.”
Putting it into shirtsleeve perspective, the clueless love it, which is why they so readily buy into it. But it’s also why sensible working people with 3-digit IQs refer to it as MENTAL MASTURBATION.